By Superintendent Mitch Wainwright
Who could have ever imagined that we would find ourselves in this situation? Schools are shut down by the state and people are asked to stay at home for safety reasons. School staff continuing to educating students virtually to the best of our ability is just unthinkable, but here we are. As a former history teacher, I find myself wondering if this is what it was like during the Great Depression and World War II.
Everyone is feeling some level of stress as we start our alternative/virtual learning this week because this is new for every person involved. Teachers are working with different tools, students do not have in-person access to staff members, and parents are finding themselves in a completely different role in helping to educate their own children. I can only imagine the anxiety level is off the charts. My expectations for staff and students are to start slow. Make the connections with students, begin the instruction with manageable levels of expectations. Again, we are all learning as we move forward.
The state has indicated that while learning is taking place remotely, it does not need to be a minute for minute equivalent requirement. While we have the children in our buildings for an eight hour day, it is not required that they spend eight hours learning remotely. While in a school building, students have opportunities to move between rooms, take breaks in their learning, and interact with others. This should not change now (except for the physical interaction with others). If your child is spending a great deal of time doing the work, contact your teacher. Remember, this is new for them. Students should get outside and get fresh air and exercise. Taking breaks is ok, and it is still acceptable not to know all of the answers. This process will look different as time progresses and we all need to be able to change.
I know every one of us will feel some level of frustration during this crisis. Remember, together we can overcome any challenge. That is what makes us #PointerNation!